Social media is the hottest tool for businesses today and it’s constantly evolving. Just when you’ve got the hang of a new feature, something more exciting takes its place.
It doesn’t matter whether your business operates in Newcastle, London, or anywhere else in the UK; social media spans the entire country so it’s essential to keep up to date with changes. Lucky for you, this is practically our bread and butter as a social media agency, so we’re pleased to introduce the five social media trends we’re expecting for 2017.
Live Video Content
In 2016, live video streaming really started to take off on social media. Platforms like Periscope, Facebook and Snapchat offered the service from early in the year, with Instagram joining the party shortly afterwards. Snappy, engaging videos are great for quick Q&A sessions or for an event your clients may not be able to attend. For example, if you needed some restaurant PR, you might use live video to stream from a launch night event. A video stories series can also keep users engaged, by simply asking the viewers to get in touch with questions or comments.
Ephemeral (or expiring) content burst on to the scene with Snapchat, but has recently been picked up by social media giants Instagram in their ‘stories’ feature. As the content lasts a short time, it can be less polished and show a more human side of the company. Working as a London communications agency, we see a lot of companies who are great at marketing the professional and corporate side of their business. Using ephemeral content, these businesses can extend their appeal to a younger audience by exploring lighter subjects and engaging with their users in a conversational way. Both Snapchat and Instagram Stories boast over 100 million active daily users, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Social media has become a market place, where savvy shoppers can see offers from their favourite brands and jump straight to the company website to pick up a purchase. This year promises a rise in paid ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with a clear call to action for the users – if you like what you see, click the link below and you’re on your way. Companies can also leverage eCommerce by showing product demonstration videos and by using the comments section to showcase real customer feedback. The best companies engage with both positive and negative feedback to help their customers feel listened to and valued.
Messenger apps, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, allow businesses to have real-time, one-to-one engagement with their users. The apps provide a great experience for customers, as they can engage with a customer service agent any time, without having to wait in phone queues. It’s cost effective for companies, as one agent can deal with multiple chats at once, and Chatbot facilities are available to handle simpler queries, such as booking or general information. Messenger apps are also private, therefore they can also be used for dealing with sensitive queries which users may not want to share in a public forum
Virtual Reality (VR) has come a long way from its use in 80s movies. Now, VR headsets can turn any mobile phone into a fully immersive experience. Companies can offer virtual tours, or allow users to get a 360-degree view of their product before they buy – all from the comfort of their own phone. The customer will be able to see the direct impact of their purchases, for example what their new wall colour will look like, or the view from the window of their hotel. As the technology develops, more and more firms will be looking to showcase their products from all angles.
Have you heard of any other hot new trends that could burst on to the scene in the next 12 months which we haven’t discussed? Or would you be interested in seeking our social media guidance directly? Tweet us at @harveyandhugo or give us a call at 01325 486 666.